wings flap
hidden in the trees
the water reflects

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Photo: Dublin, Ireland, c.b.w. 2009.

I’ve shard this photograph previously, but the deeply reflective nature of it seems to fit my recent mood to revisit past experiences. Going to Ireland was never really on my list of places to go, but when Grandma says she wants to go, you go. We shared many beautiful memories marveling at the green hills and taking in the warmth of Irish culture, but there were also challenges as she struggled with ailing health. I’m thankful to have those glimmering moments of love, but ache at the hindsight that comes with knowing what was to come.

Words: haiku, c.b.w. 2019




still water
claims the moment
dragonfly wings


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Photo: Watson Lake, Prescott, Arizona, c.b.w. 2013. This picture is much older than I thought! A friend and I took a little weekend trip up to Prescott for a little hiking, photography, and good old-fashioned bonding. It was an amazing trip full of incredible views and friendship. It’s funny how time slips by so quickly and we barely even notice until it’s long gone.

Words: haiku, c.b.w. 2019

New Year, New Things To Do


Over the last couple of years, I’ve made to-do lists to keep me on track in terms of things I want to accomplish or to at least keep me focused in a few key areas that are important to me. 2018 turned out to be a year of great distraction, but also productive in some regards.

My To Do List for 2019 remains the same, but with a few adjustments.

  1. Read. A lot.

2018: Goodreads 2018 Challenge to read 40 books: Accomplished and Exceeded with 43 books).

2019: I set the same reading goal of 40 books. In addition, I joined a book discussion group online – a first for me! The idea is to keep up with it and be more involved in the literary community.

2. Write and Submit

2018: This is where I got distracted by a number of things. I did not write as much as I have in the past and only submitted a few pieces. The challenge of a new day job, increased activity in another area of interest, and a simple lack of motivation contributed to this.

2019: The realization of my distraction hit me hard and made realize how much I miss writing. This is going to be a year of finding my groove again and truly deciding what I want to write. I’m looking at some freelance opportunities and I know will absolutely continue writing poetry. However, I also want to jump back into fiction and blogging on a more regular basis. As far submitting goes, I think I have some soul-searching to do and once I find my groove, I can start thinking about what to submit and where. This is clearly a rebuilding year!

3. Travel.

2018: I thrived in this aspect traveling to Indiana multiple times, Florida (new to me!), Italy, and Switzerland. As someone who travelled extensively years ago, it was nice to get back in this saddle. I fully intend on continuing this trend.

2019: Wheels are already in motion on the travel front. I’ll be heading to Belgium in the summer with plans to visit at least one other bordering country while I’m there. I’m also hoping to visit a new state within the U.S.

4. Look for open doors and step through them.

2018: The open door I walked through lead to a new position at work. As a whole, I love what I’m doing, but it’s not without challenges and the frustration of learning a new job (for which there is no training!). Still, I love the concept of looking for opportunities and staying open to them instead of remaining complacent. Huge life lesson learned!

2019: Keep watch for those open doors and opportunities. Never again do I want to find myself bored and unstimulated because I’ve been doing the same thing for too long.

5. Give.

2018: I walked into this one with grand goals, which I constructed before I even thought about applying for my new job! That being said, I did end up accomplishing a fair amount of giving. With my students, we knit about 2 dozen hats for charity. Whenever, I have a few moments, I pick up my crochet hook or knitting needles and crank out a hat or a kennel blanket.

2019: I still plan on using my crafty skills to do some good. This year I’ll be looking for ways to get students more involved in the process, while carving out some personal time to create things that challenge my skills and benefit organizations I care about the most.

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c.b.w. 2019

Checking Off The 2017 To-Do List


Last year, I made a to-do list instead of New Year’s Resolutions. Weirdly, it worked better than any set of goals or list of resolutions I’ve ever made. Some boxes still need to be checked, but overall I can count 2017 as being quite productive.

Item #1: Declutter

Give the state of my head, this one makes sense! However, the clutter in my head is only part of the problem. The house is cluttered, My classroom is cluttered. The past is cluttered.

Done! As someone who just seems to naturally collect things, this was a tough task. I cleared out more than 150 books, 100 CDs and DVDs, 20+ dolls, countless objects from closets, and even more stuff from my classroom and associated storage areas. My classroom in particular feels like an entirely new (and open) space.

In many ways, I have a clean and clear slate. It feels great! There’s still a little more work to do on some shelves and one closet, but I’m ready to dive in and clear even more out.

Item #2: Publish Something

Over the last couple of years, I’ve written over a thousand haiku. I think it’s about time to put together a chapbook or two! I’m probably going to self-publish using a digital platform. There are so many options out there, many of which are free, so I don’t have much of an excuse not to do this!

The same goes for my novel. I’m going to get back into the game of sending out query packages, but I’m also going to dig deeper into research regarding self-publishing outlets. It’s time to get this done!

This is still on the to-do list, unfortunately. However, it isn’t from lack of trying. I managed to score some little victories that pull the dream of publication closer to reality. Between personalized query responses, a top ten finish in a poetry competition, a full manuscript request, and upcoming competitions, this item still has my focus.

Item #3: Read 35 Books

As I have for the last five years, I’ve once again joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Done! I was a lean, mean reading machine this year with a grand total 47 books.

Item #4: Survive National Board Certification

The road to National Board Certification has been brutal … I have one more component to finish and hopefully it will be enough to not only survive, but achieve National Board Certification.

Done! By some miracle, I not only finished, but achieved National Board Certification. It’s still sinking in and it still feels totally and completely surreal.

Item #5: Take Better Care of Myself

I need to eat better, sleep better, and leave more stress at the door. I let the day job invade much too large of a space in my life and it’s time to push it back to where it belongs: at work.

Done in some areas, needs work in others. I’ve definitely created stronger divisions between my personal and professional life and it has impacted me in a positive way. I’ve eliminated a huge source of stress and I feel much better on a daily basis. It’s amazing how setting clear guidelines for your personal and professional time can make such a big difference. Sometimes work does have to come home with me, but I’m careful about how much time it’s allowed to take. Most things I think have to be done right now, can actually wait.

As far as eating better – I’m working on it. That darn chocolate and severe dislike of cooking are hurdles I will have to work harder at overcoming!

As for sleeping better – I’m a lost cause. I’m an insomniac to the core, but I’m getting better at relaxing at more reasonable hours.

Item #6: Go Somewhere

I miss traveling. It’s time for another adventure. 🙂

Yes, it is! My husband and I renewed our passports this summer. We were unable to go anywhere in 2017 due to our elderly furbaby who needed constant care. However, with his sad passing and taking the time to grieve, we have reached a new chapter in our lives. Amsterdam is at the top of our list for the coming summer!

– – –

As 2018 approaches, I’m already thinking about what’s next on the To-Do List. Stay tuned! 🙂

– – –

How did your To Do List go for 2017?

– – –

c.b.w. 2017




The Instagram Experiment


I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures even though I’m not the most talented photographer out there. I never set out to be – let’s make that very clear. My usual philosophy is to simply point the camera at something pretty and the rest will take care of itself. Sometimes it works, but most of the time ….. not so much!

My first look at Instagram blew me away. There are so many amazing photographers out there and quite honestly I found it intimidating. Plus, I don’t do selfies, so that ruled out another huge part of Instagram. So, I didn’t join.

It all changed this summer, when I decided I didn’t really care what anyone else thought of my pictures. I just wanted to have fun with my camera and play with the idea of snapping random photographs. If anything, I was infinitely curious of what I would do. Call it an experiment of the self, if you will.

The results of my little experiment surprised me. I didn’t expect it to be such a cathartic experience, nor did I expect it to mirror another element of my life so closely. I found I didn’t worry at all about framing my shot or achieving the perfect image. I cared more about what I photographing and how it made me feel within a given moment.

I took pictures of the books I read, craft projects, writing projects, the weather (the monsoon sky in particular) and random things like movie tickets and my iPod. In many respects, nothing that special to anyone but me. My summer was supposed to be about decompressing, relaxing, and reconnecting with the things I love to do. Everything on my Instagram feed reflects that fact.

The significance of taking pictures of seemingly small things didn’t really hit me until about a month into the experiment. My practice of writing haiku ties in so perfectly with what I’ve been doing with my camera. Haiku is all about capturing a feeling, a moment, or something fleeting. Camera in hand, I found some minute detail in each day that was worth celebrating. In many ways, playing on Instagram reminded me of the importance of the little things. They are so often overshadowed by the bigger things that try so hard to distract us from what really matters.

Are there some pictures I wish I hadn’t posted? Yep. But only because they are sooo bad. However, they will remain as they reflect a memory I want to keep. Sometimes it isn’t about being perfect, its about being in the moment.

I still don’t do the selfie thing, though.

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If you dig “in the moment” pics, follow me on Instagram: @cbwentworth


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c.b.w. 2017